As the promise of a new tomorrow for the Islanders faded like Alexei Yashin in the spring, all Islanders fans can do now is shake their head and wonder what just went down. First we took a Gomez face rub to the kisser, then a Drury elbow to the head, and then a most painful Smyth slash to the groin. Then as if stunned and unable to react to the environment around him, Snow watched most tier two free agents sign elsewhere. There goes Hannan, Bertuzzi, Calder, Preissing. Hey isn't that Nylander, Lang, and Handzus zipping right by? Hey wait stop!! Come back! Nothing doing. Well, good thing we can still sign our own UFAs. Wait, Blake signed with the Leafs. And there goes Kozlov and Poti. Wow, at least we still have Yashin. Oh right, we finally cut him loose. How sad that a Yashin is looking great right around now.
So I wake up this morning from this continuing horrible nightmare to find Snowbury expressing surprise at the salaries being paid all around him and blaming the old barn as a primary reason that players don't want to be here. Umm, yeah, okay. I keep thinking back to Eklund's proclamtion a couple of weeks ago that the Isles were poised to have a huge July 1. Oh, man, it was huge alright. This week may be looked back upon in a few years as the week that led to the Islanders relocation to KC or Vegas, because if you thought the fan base was anemic last season, wait until this year. Cricket, cricket. If an Islander scores a goal but there is no one there to see it, did he really score?
The Islanders really, really needed to sign a top tier free agent. Even just one. The fans expected as much. But if you told me last week that as of July 3, the only press releases would be to announce the signing of Jon Sim and Andy Hilbert, I would not have believed you in a million years. On the other hand, does anything that happens with this team really surprise you?
From Newsday, this is how our lines are shaping up for next season:
1. Sean Bergenheim TBA Miroslav Satan
2. Andy Hilbert Mike Sillinger Trent Hunter
3. Jonathan Sim Richard Park Jeff Tambellini
4. Chris Simon Shawn Bates Frans Nielsen
Gee, I'm going to make some calls. Some of my street hockey teammates may have an interest in playing for the Islanders. How hard could it be to crack this line up? And if you project goal scoring from this motley crew, I'd say were talking less than 100 goals. Not that the puck will ever be in the opponent's zone with such a fine defense behind it. It doesn't get any better than Freddy Meyer the IV. If Ricky thinks last year's headaches were bad....
Well, I predict that the Islanders will announce the signing of Sheldon Souray for some ridiculously inflated salary. Same with Zubrus. And then Snow will proclaim that these were the players he coveted all along. Of course we will never know how these players work out for us as we won't be at the mausoleum. If Newsday continues to cover the Isles this season, Logan can be the daily bringer of bad news - if I choose to read about it.